|Charnizay dans 'Le grand Froid'|
Having lived through winters in Toronto and Oslo where the sidewalks disappear in November and only re-emerge in April, this cold spell is no big deal. Except that nothing here is geared to that type of weather. Houses often have thin walls, no central heating and tiled floors. Not a problem for the odd cold snap of a day or so; but definitely not good right now.
|view down the Aigronne valley|
So, thankfully, we are comfortable and the heating does its job well. The wood burning stove in the living room belts out the heat and, as it is so cold, the central heating is on in a number of rooms as well.
|our chemin looking towards the direction of the village|
We have two sources of hot water:- a combi boiler in the kitchen which provides the CH, hot water in the kitchen and the guest bathroom upstairs. However, as this is a longere [literally 'long house'] we have an immersion heater in the barn which supplies our en-suite and the shower-room downstairs; a 50/50 arrangement so to speak.
So off into the barn we went armed with flashlight, hairdryer, small fan heater and bubble wrap. 90% of the pipes are safely tucked up in black foam lagging but here and there there are some gaps. The problem was we had no idea which bits might have frozen--we are not DIY people, a fact we readily acknowledge. Deciding to operate on simple logic we tackled one bit of exposed pipe at a time and then carefully wrapped it in bubble wrap, which makes excellent insulating material.
|busy cat 'superhighway'|
It looks like we have been very fortunate. We don't seem to have a leak and no pipes have re-frozen.